I am writing to complain about your coverage of the English Defence League’s flash demonstration in the city centre last Saturday (Mercury, January 22).
This report did not represent what actually happened at all. For instance, you made no mention of the fact that the EDL members were shouting “Muslim scum” at the people on the stall, over and over again.
Passing shoppers (some with young children) were visibly upset by their presence.
They were also taking photos and threatening anyone who was standing up to them, including Unite Against Fascism protesters, shoppers and a handful of people who heard what was happening and went there at very short notice.
To my knowledge the people on the Islamic stall are there every weekend – but your article seemed to imply that they had just showed up. I have also never seen them “handing out leaflets” as your article suggested.
I have, however, seen them engaging with people from all backgrounds and faiths in discussions about their religion (which is any religious person’s right).
They are no different to any of the other religious stalls set up in town every weekend, and certainly did not deserve to be treated in the disgusting manner that they were by the so-called English Defence League – and the police, who to my mind should have arrested those EDL demonstrators who were clearly inciting racial hatred (and let’s face it, Islamophobia has now become a smokescreen for bare racism).
Letter in the Leicester Mercury, 2 February 2011